The third-ranked Harlan Cyclones used a big sixth inning and a complete game shutout from senior pitcher David Ratigan to beat the defending Class 3A champion Dallas Center-Grimes Mustangs 4-0 in Tuesday night’s quarterfinal game at Principal Park.
After both teams were held scoreless through five innings, Harlan took advantage of a couple DCG mistakes to put a big number on the board in the sixth. Jake Daeges drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a Ratigan single, and was standing on third following an error. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Nick Tarney was hit by a pitch to drive in the first run of the game.
Brett Croghan, who reached on a throwing error, scored the second run of the inning on a wild pitch. Nick Kaufman hit a chopper to second for an RBI groundout and Cale Stork capped the scoring with a deep sacrifice fly to center field, giving the Cyclones the 4-0 advantage.
Ratigan allowed eight hits over his seven scoreless innings of work and struck out three. He improves his overall record to 8-1 with the win.
Dallas Center-Grimes stranded seven runners during the game. In the third, Colin Schroeder was called out on a play at home and despite loading the bases in the inning, the Mustangs couldn’t push a run across.
DCG starter Jake Lewis fanned eight batters in five scoreless innings to start the game but allowed four runs, two of which were earned, in the sixth inning. Lewis (7-4) allowed four hits in six innings before being relieved by Carter Trager, who tossed a scoreless seventh.
Harlan (29-7), the second seed in the tournament, advances to play second-ranked and sixth-seeded Clear Lake on Friday at 2 p.m.
Dallas Center-Grimes ends its season at 21-13.